With Barbara lost in the deserted city, the time travellers continue to search and explore their surroundings, not only for their missing companion, but for mercury they need to fill up a vital piece of the Tardis. They begin to weaken, feeling the effects of the radiation which they believe originally destroyed the initial inhabitants. The Doctor realises what is making everyone ill and confesses that in his desperation to see the city, he misguided the others to think that the part was faulty, when in fact it was intact. They tussle with the decision to return to the Tardis without Barbara and risk more exposure to radiation.
The companions are caught by the Daleks and reunited, but realise that if they don’t escape, they will die from radiation sickness. The Doctor manages to speak with the Daleks to uncover their origins and broker a deal to find a cure for their illness. However, viewers find out that the Daleks plan to use them to get an antidote from their enemies – the Thals, not to allow the companions to use it and let them die. Susan is set free into the forest to find the tribe of mutants.
This episode is an extremely important one as it marks the first time viewers are introduced to the Daleks. In this story, the original concept saw the Daleks mutated as a direct result of the war and were originally a humaniod raced called the Dals. They live in constant warfare with the Thals, whom they describe as hideously mutated animals.
The original story sees the Daleks’ dependence for flat ground and only able to move about due to the static electricity from the floors of their city. Fans will be interested to see how this concept is built over the episodes to where the Daleks have telekinesis power and the ability to fly sort distances. Although originally the Daleks require radiation in order to live and thus trapped on the planet, future Daleks adapt to differing environments.
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